When designing and using the audio-visual system for a simulation center or facility, there are six questions that need to be addressed about the audio-visual needs for simulations being performed: What do I need to know about the simulation activity? When do I need to know it? How can I get that information? Who else, and where else, needs this information? What is the skill level of the end user (personnel)? What is my budget? The answers to these questions will help to define the complexity of the audio-visual (A/V) system installed in a simulation center. These questions do not ask what type of simulation one is doing. This information is inherently imbedded in the answers to these questions. Also, A/V signals flow through a chain of devices, and like any chain, the lowest quality component defines the highest possible level of results. As the myriad concepts and details of audio and video can all too easily become overwhelming, this chapter offers both user-centered and function-centered viewpoints of the same topic. Finally, helpful hints on how to address these six questions are also provided. The chapter concludes with some "lessons learned" about designing, building, and using an A/V system for simulation.
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